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Archetype first-person shooter frags its way onto iPhone

Will there ever be a first-person shooter game on iPhone to rival classics like Doom, Quake and Unreal Tournament on a PC? There’s no shortage of developers trying: standout efforts so far include ngmoco’s Eliminate and Gameloft’s N.O.V.A. Now they’ve got a new rival: Archetype.

It’s a first-person shooter designed for deathmatching over 3G or Wi-Fi, which includes eye-bleeding high-res graphics if you’re on an iPhone 4. Players battle as five-a-side teams, with a choice of five maps and six weapons. We love the fact that alongside the rifles, shotgun, grenades and missile launcher there’s also a bloody great axe to swing (pictured).

There’s an offline tutorial mode to get you up to speed – essential if you’re not going to blunder about like an idiot when pitched into a multiplayer battle. As you play (and win) more matches, you earn experience points and medals to show your progress. Meanwhile, it’s all controlled via two virtual joysticks, as seen in other games of this genre.

Hardened FPS fans will likely scoff at a touchscreen mobile device ever being able to compete with a ninja PC with mouse’n’keyboard combo in this genre. And they’re probably right. But this isn’t about competition: if you’re looking for all-action deathmatching on your iPhone, Archetype is an impressive contender.

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